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Thread: I need some advice please.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    800

    Question I need some advice please.

    I have a few questions well here I go.

    These questions only pertain to my turning stuff.

    1.At my Woodcraft they had some Mahogany bowl blanks (dried) most of them are all sap wood & the pith is in the center of the blank. & big cracks. I found 4 that the pith are at the end of the blank so I can turn them away they were only $12.

    The color looks like maple being all sap wood so I bought some brand name
    "General Finish" Gel stain. to give it a more amber to darker color. My question is.

    1. Is Gel stains good for turning I don't think it would soak to much into the wood but I do control the color I get.

    2. Should I try Trans tint dye instead?

    3. What would you guys suggest I try ?



    I know you guy's use it I would like some advice on how to use it to get a nice high gloss finish.

    I picked up some "General Finish's" seal-a-cell & high gloss finish what is the best way to use it?

    I also picked up some original Watco what is the best way to get a high gloss using this?

    Thanks for your help

    Chuck

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Beland View Post
    I have a few questions well here I go.

    These questions only pertain to my turning stuff.

    1.At my Woodcraft they had some Mahogany bowl blanks (dried) most of them are all sap wood & the pith is in the center of the blank. & big cracks. I found 4 that the pith are at the end of the blank so I can turn them away they were only $12.

    The color looks like maple being all sap wood so I bought some brand name
    "General Finish" Gel stain. to give it a more amber to darker color. My question is.

    1. Is Gel stains good for turning I don't think it would soak to much into the wood but I do control the color I get.

    2. Should I try Trans tint dye instead?

    3. What would you guys suggest I try ?



    I know you guy's use it I would like some advice on how to use it to get a nice high gloss finish.

    I picked up some "General Finish's" seal-a-cell & high gloss finish what is the best way to use it?

    I also picked up some original Watco what is the best way to get a high gloss using this?

    Thanks for your help

    Chuck

    Chuck, I will offer some advice in response to your questions. Mahogany turns well, and is rather porous, so either the Gel Stain or Transtint Dye would work well. I would lean toward the dye if it were me, mostly because it will dry quicker, if you get the formulation that is mixed with Alcohol. It is also easier to control the color intensity with Dye. (You simply increase the dye to alcohol ratio for darker color....easy stuff to work with.)

    Seal-a-Cell is a nice finish for turnings. I have used it with good sucess many times. (It is also the finish of choice for David Marks, on many of his projects.) You just follow the instructions on the can for application. I use 2 to 3 coats to build a finish that is easily buffed to a high gloss. (For Seal-a-Cell, I apply a coat, lightly sand with 600 between coats, and apply another coat, until I get the build I want. Usually, 2 or 3 coats does it.)

    Watco will also build a good finish for buffing, but for HIGH gloss, I would stick to Seal-a-Cell, or better yet, a lacquer. Deft wood finish is lacquer, and you can buff it to a mirror finish.

    Of the 3 above, Watco Danish Oil, Lacquer, and Seal-a-Cell, for high gloss, I prefer Seal-a-Cell, especially on larger work, like most bowls.

    Hopefully, this answered some of your concerns and will serve to help you some.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kutztown PA
    Posts
    252
    Chuck, I can answer some of your questions. I have used gel stains on turnings a number of times, usually on furniture related pieces, but sometimes on bowls and such. I have also used Transtint dyes. Both do pretty much the same thing, although you will get more color saturation with the dyes. You can vary the depth of color from the dye by diluting it or concentrating it.

    I have used Sealacell for some work, but only flat stuff, so I will not comment on that except to say that you should expect similar results on turnings as you do with flat work, although it might take more coats, with all the end grain exposed in a turning.

    I don't think you are going to get a real high gloss with Watco, regardless of how many coats you use. As Kevin has already written, your best method is to build a varnish or lacquer. Oil finishes are good for popping the grain, and giving a soft shine, but if you want something to really gleam, you need a film finish that can be sanded or buffed in some way.

    Take a look at Travis Stinson's turnings for an idea of how a high gloss will come out when done properly.

    Bill
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  4. #4
    I seldom Stain so I can't add to the fine distinguished gentlemen before me... but my favorite lathe finish is Wipe on Poly. I begin with a lacquer based sanding sealer that is quick to dry and then go from there. Fill the pores with Paste Wood Filler (wait it out) fine sand it smooth then apply the Poly with a piece of old Tee Shirt. I always fill the pores with Paste Wood Filler to save a lot of effort in finish applications and sanding down to fill the pores.

    I do this as a Hobbiest and a fun thing to do so the waiting is not an issue with me. I can enjoy an adult beverage, watch the news and go to bed and work on it tomorrow, so the lingering drying periods is not a factor. After several coats of Poly you can bring up a shine like water and glass or smooth out a soft luster, depending on what you use to rub it down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    Chuck I use the Seal-A-Cell and put one coat on. Then I use Arm-R-Seal over the top. Most time 3 coats. I use this for bowls that are to be used for utility purposes also. Watco I usually put 3 or 5 coats on then buff to a high luster. I have used both tint and stain but like the tint better. I don't like to use either if bowls are used for utility purposes but that is just me.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    241
    Chuck, just out of curiosity, do you have a buffing system? One common theme you'll notice in the above replies is that several mention "buffing to a high gloss". A good buffing system makes a world of difference.

    As far as finishes, I use Seal-A-Cell on nearly all of my turnings to make the grain pop. A single coat will do that. It's not really meant to be a high-gloss finish by itself. But it's easy to use, just sand your piece to about 320 or 400 and follow the directions. I like the fact that you just wipe it on (off the lathe) and let it dry. You can do additional sanding (I usually go to at least 800) and/or apply mulitple coats if necessary. Make sure you allow ample curing time before doing anything to the piece between coats. 10 to 12 hours will do for most woods.

    From there you have quite a few choices. Urethane-based Arm-R-Seal is one good option for an ultra-high gloss. Usually I don't go that far. Most of my pieces go straight from SAC to the buffing wheel. They often come out so glossy they're difficult to photograph.

    The only thing I don't recommend SAC on is oily woods such as rosewoods (i.e. Cocobola, Blackwood, etc). The oils mixed with SAC cause a tacky build-up that makes it difficult to cure in a reasonable time. There are various ways around it but I'd rather not go to the extra trouble.
    Last edited by Neal Addy; 09-19-2007 at 04:14 AM.
    I may be lost but I'm making good time!
    Three Seasons Woodturnings

  7. #7
    Chuck....and to add to the numerous and differing ideas and opinions.....

    I've had good luck with Antique Oil...builds a good glossy finish quickly...2 coats usually is enough.

    I've had good luck with Deft brushing lacquer frictioned on the lathe.

    I often put a little boiled linseed oil on a rag and wipe it on the project...then friction it with a paper towel. I'll then put on a coat of dewaxed shellac and friction it.....then I'll put on a coat of Deft and friction it....Maybe a 2nd coat of Deft and friction it....with a paper towel...

    Then I'll buff it.

    I put the dewaxed shellac over the BLO as laquer doesn't like to be placed over oil...but will adhere to dewaxed shellac....

    Hopefully Travis will enter in his opinion. He's a lot more experienced and skilled than I!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Brookhaven, Ms
    Posts
    64
    I believe the key to a good finish is a thorough sanding job. I powersand most everything to 800 grit. The easiest finish I've found and love to use, is Minwax Antique Oil. 2 good coats, each wiped off before it gets too tacky, is usually enough. Then, as Neal said, a good buffing to really bring the shine out. I use the Beall buffing wheels.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    800
    Gentleman,
    Thank You very much for all of your help. I'm sorry I haven't posted before now but to much OT at work & when I get home usually after 6:00-7:00pm all I want to do is sit on my proverbial cute tushy.

    I'll see if I can answer your questions

    Kevin,
    I just picked up some seal a cell & arm a seal.

    Bill G,
    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "film finish" ?
    Thanks for all the info.

    Bill S,
    I didn't even think of the wood filler I'll have to give it a try.

    Bernie,
    I think I'm going to take back the stain & try the Trans tint dye instead. You all convinced me.

    Neal,
    I do have the Beal buff system I just got a old 1725 rpm motor & now I need to get a extension & wheels for stand so I can mount it to the back of my grinder tool stand so when I need to use the buffer just roll it to the back then I can use the buffer system.

    Ken,
    I'll check my local woodcrafters & see if they carry Deft laquer I know my local Borgs don't.

    Travis,
    Is the min wax antique oil able to get a mirror finish? I'll check woodcrafters & borgs for it.

    Thank You very much gentleman for all of your help.

    Chuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    241
    Chuck, don't let Travis fool you. He says he uses Antique Oil but we're convinced that he has actually developed a secret machine that applies a thick layer of glass to his HFs. Patent pending.
    I may be lost but I'm making good time!
    Three Seasons Woodturnings

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